Stuart Phillips brings together a collection of the stories, folk tales and legends relating to plants. Whereas at one time these folk stories might have been passed on from parent to child as a way of teaching something of the natural world, many are now largely forgotten – yet they are an important part of our folk heritage. Wherever possible, a complete a list of common names is given for each plant in this book. These names are as much a part of the plant’s folklore as the myths surrounding it and they also serve to show where the myths and lore relating to one plant may, at some point in the past, have been attributed to another plant with the same common name. This collection works as both a ‘dip-in’ book for items of interest and a comprehensive guide to the use of plants in art, literature and common customs.
Stuart Phillips is a director at the Gaia Consultancy horticultural training company. He trained in horticulture at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and worked for many years as a lecturer in horticulture, first at Reaseheath College in Cheshire and then at Moulton College, Northampton. His interest in the folklore of plants was first sparked as a result of his horticultural training. For more than fifteen years Stuart Phillips has been a regular contributor to BBC radio programmes, giving gardening advice and answering listeners’ questions. He has also written articles on all aspects of horticulture for a number of periodicals.